Nic Shayler... wife of Mark Shayler, "1/2 of Ape," mother of four and therefore "1/6 of team Shayler." I've quoted Nic's instagram bio there since that's how we mainly interact, but to give you the full story...
I met Nic through my partner Sam.
Sam met Mark, her husband, when Mark gave a lecture at uni on sustainability within the product design industry. He announced he was offering a year-out placement within his and Nic's company Ape, a business focused on coaching sustainable innovation within a multitude of industries and disciplines, disrupting the status-quo within those disciplines and subsequently opening the eyes of independent and corporate companies alike. (Side Note- you can buy Mark's book "Do Disrupt" here. I read and used this book when I first started Stalf and can confirm it's wonderful.)
Anyway, Sam and Mark got on really well, Sam applied for the internship, Sam won said internship. Sam ended up bunking in Mark's (cosy and refurbished) woodshed by night, working for him by day, scaling the country with Mark as he helped "big companies think small and small companies think big" and ultimately, they formed a real bond. I visited Sam a few times (at this point we were penniless students 3 years into a long distance relationship) went to a couple of parties hosted by Team Shayler and even house-sitted one Summer, looking after the two dogs, two cats, hamster, ducks and chickens.
I guess Sam became one of their family for a short time, or certainly reached second-cousin status anyway... and that's how I met Nic.
Longwinded link, yes. Slightly distant friendship, yes. But Nic is one of those people who just interests me and always captures my attention. She has done since I first met her three or four years ago. Our friendship is a testament to how social media (namely Instagram) helps friends bond over shared views and opinion, encourages conversation and ultimately keeps people close.
I can count on my hands the amount of times I've actually met Nic in person, but each encounter results in deep conversation, passionate exchange and genuine belly laughs. We've chatted our way around politics, Brexit, veganism, feminism, childbirth and motherhood, fashion, sustainability and back again. Sat here typing now, the image I have in my head of Nic is her leant against the counter in her kitchen, doe-eyed, beautiful and pixie-esque, but deep in fiery conversation and gesticulating freely as she chats her way round whichever topic we'd landed on at that moment. This mental picture encapsulates the contrasts within Nic's character for me... She's soft and strong in equal measure. Fiercely kind. Passionately opinionated and yet full to the brim with patience and empathy. She is a mother and wife and loves with her whole heart. I've got all emotional with the tone of this introduction, but that's just how telling you about Nic makes me feel.
Day to day, Nic pops up on my insta-feed and makes me smile. Her reminder is to value the small, natural, simple, happy, everyday, but also to be strong, take an interest, have an opinion and give a sh*t.
Follow Nic- @nicshayler
Follow Mark- @markshayler
Learn about Ape- www.thisisape.co.uk
What Nic's wearing...
Strawberry Jam Cocoon Trousers (launch 1st November)